The solid and imposing terminus building of Aberystwyth station was built in 1925 by the Great Western Railway, but trains first started arriving in the town in the 1860s. This was a period of major change for what had been, up to that point, a country town. The railway created a tourism boom, with the town’s first pier opening on the same day as the new railway line, and hotels began springing up on the seafront and elsewhere in town. One such development fell into bankruptcy and was sold to become the University College of Wales in 1872 – renamed as Aberystwyth University in 2007. During term time, almost half the population of the town are students.
Alongside regular train services, Aberystwyth station is also the terminus for the narrow-gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway, a steam heritage railway that runs for almost twelve miles between the town and Devil’s Bridge through the beautiful countryside of Ceredigion.